Thursday, June 04, 2009

Immigrant Rights News -- Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Immigrant Rights News – Wednesday, June 03, 2009


INTRO: Oakland, California becomes the third city in the U.S. that will offer all of its residents a municipal ID card. The anti-immigrant movement sees the ID card as circumventing federal immigration law enforcement and ignores and will never recognize the root causes that this policy addresses.


Since the advent of Reaganomics, that launched a systemic the attack against and dismantlement of social services, including privatization, de- and re-regulation of how investments wealth and profits are made so that corporations and big business don’t pay their taxes but profit from public investments and subsidies, U.S. citizenship has been stripped to bare bones. Immigrant scapegoating has become the escape valve for the frustrations and setbacks some 29 years of Reaganomics (abroad it started as “Thatcherism” and is called neoliberalism) that U.S.-citizen working people, communities of color, women, LGBTs and generally poverty-stricken people in the U.S. have lived and endured.


A municipal ID card is a fragile barrier against the immigrant scapegoating, including the new forms of racial, ethnic/nationality and religious profiling being driven by immigration and border enforcement that is out of control. While local police have to go through a specific agreement that requires training to become immigration law enforcers, the Bush Administration’s program piloted in 2008 called, the Secure Communities Initiative, and now being extended nationally, will make it easier for the Obama Administration to use local, state and other police to become immigration law enforcement agents. The 287 (g) program, made infamous by the repressive and racist Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, Joe Arpaio, at least had the caveat of formal training and guidelines. Now with the SCI, police will be able to use profiling (which is still illegal in the U.S.!) to circumvent the due process rights of persons detained or arrested by asking them their citizenship status and checking their fingerprints against an ever “Big Brother” database, with errors and all.


Now, persons will be guilty by immigration status and go straight to jail for deportation, circumventing our Constitution and civil rights.


Oakland’s new municipal ID card will make a difference in this emerging immigration enforcement juncture; a small oasis in the middle of a growing desert of repression based on race, ethnicity/nationality and religion. However, the challenge is on: the need to organize and demand an end to all raids and the suspension of all detentions and deportations and the investigating the abuses so that we can put justice and rights back on the front burner of legalization and other reforms needed to make our country safe for all our communities.




1. San Francisco Chronicle: Oakland proposes ID card for undocumented


2 The American Prospect: Detention Retention


3. New York Times: Detained Asylum-Seekers Find It Harder to Win Release


4. In These Times: Home Again?A Forgotten Injustice chronicles the mass deportation of Mexican immigrants in the 1930s.



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